The Art of Success Behind the Biggest Video Games

Have you ever wondered what makes some video games successful while others languish or flop? The truth is, there is not one key factor that applies in every case. There is too much diversity in video games for that. But there are a number of factors that may apply when it comes to the art of success behind the biggest video games. Often, what makes one game succeed where another fails is the gestalt of those combined factors.

Indeed, there are even some factors that can go either way. Some gamers love the gambling aspect of microtransactions, for instance, while others do not. Many would prefer to stick with slots sites in Canada instead of gambling in their video games. Below, we go over some of what goes into making a successful video game.

These are the Secrets of Success Behind the Biggest Video Games

1. Gameplay

Many gamers agree that one of the primary factors in determining a good game is the gameplay itself. Defining good gameplay is somewhat subjective. But the user interface and controls should be intuitive. The level design should facilitate interesting scenarios. The enemy AI should behave realistically. Play should simply feel fluid and enjoyable.  

With good enough gameplay, a game may not even need a story at all in order to be successful. This has worked out well for shooters such as Battlefield 2042. The bigger esports become, the more common this will probably be.

2. Flexibility

Players have a range of different play styles, and many of the best games can accommodate several. As explained at Carleton, “Make sure that there are many different ways to accomplish each goal. Simply plotting out a step-by-step progression through the goals can be stifling.” RPG-style games usually do a particularly good job catering to multiple approaches by offering class and item customization.

3. Worlds to explore

Another factor that can help make a video game successful is a well-developed world to explore. In some games, this may even take on the form of an open world. Indeed, major series like Fallout and Elder Scrolls have succeeded in large part because players enjoy discovering both their landscapes and their lore. But even in linear games, world-building is key.

4. Story and characters

Something else that can go a long way toward carrying a game to success is a compelling story and rich, well-acted characters. Whether this is sufficient to offset deficits in gameplay or not depends on who you ask and what game you were discussing. Just as many players will choose games exclusively for their gameplay, some will also do so for story and characters. Of course, if a game can package together excellent story and characters and exciting gameplay, that is the best of all worlds.

5. Rewards

Another element that can make a game a successful one is a system of rewards that players find motivating. Sometimes, these could be items or currency. Other times, they could be rankings. Still other times, they could be lore or progression in a quest. Some games may even offer a selection of different types of rewards to appeal to players who are motivated in different ways.

6. Ambiance

Something else that can make a game appealing is its atmosphere. Games that do a good job creating immersive, interesting environments can pull players in and make it hard for them to want to set down the controller. Perhaps the most iconic examples of successful games that did well in large part because of their ambiance are those in the BioShock franchise.

Closely related to ambiance in gaming is the quality of sound and graphics. But that does not always mean that hyper-realism is the way to go; it all depends on what is the best fit for a particular game. Some games benefit from extreme realism, while others with different art styles may not.

Now You Know What Goes Into a Successful Video Game

Now you are familiar with some of the elements that help contribute to successful video games. If you found this post interesting, you might also enjoy reading about the best SNES games of all time, as well as the most influential video game ever made.